I often see music, and music theory taught separately - I have
experienced this kind of learning myself. But when taught like this, we
can struggle to make the connection between the two - even though the
two things don't exist without the other. Or - ‘this’ is music, ‘this’ is
dance, ‘this’ is a novel - but are they all not just forms of storytelling?
If we use shades (or colours) as a more deliberate example - say we
have a colour strip; one end is black going lighter and lighter, all the way
to white - At which point does black end and white start?
I see a lot of learning and teaching compartmentalised like this;
separated. Even though they need the context and relationship of the
other to make sense. I've realised in the past few years that this way of
learning and teaching, can make things a lot harder to understand, and
sometimes discourage the learner.
'The Conversation' workshop could be described as a Creative workshop
(in all senses of the word) but one does not have to identify as being creative
in order to be a part of this.
It is all about communication and we all have the ability to communicate in
some form or another.
A conversation goes both ways; there is a listener and a speaker and the two
can be interchangeable.
We have all experienced being the person, or being around the person who
is good at speaking, but not so good at listening.
We also know the people (or maybe we are the people) that are amazing
listeners, and who are present when in company - this is getting to be a
more difficult skill in our technological world, but it is an important one.
The best musicians and artists I have known, met, or collaborated with
have all been fantastic listeners, and intentional thinkers. This isn't just
something you use in music, or other forms of art - this is important for
just being people that truly connect. As people, it's not just about taking
what is given to you, but also about what you give to others.
The first part of this workshop is developing these skills with a
series of exercises that I've developed overseas. Some of
these exercises may on the surface seem unrelated - open discussions
will be had as a group to make the connection to see the relevance of it.
Other exercises (some of you may have seen in drama workshops) will
be used to build trust between participants - when we trust those around
us we are more open, and when we are more open as people and as
artists - we can be inspired, we can inspire each other, and create a good
This is when we have the foundation to do good work.